Before I jump in to the main topic here, I thought I’d give you a little background on my first months of pregnancy, because i think this also affected the vitamins and how I was feeling.
The first few months of my pregnancy were not easy – nausea and extreme exhaustion were the worst. Mornings lasted forever, it was impossible to get out of bed and get my day going; especially when I knew I had to go somewhere that day. I have a fear of throwing up, so each morning I sat in a comfy chair in my living room and took deep breaths in and out, praying that I can keep it together. Relaxing my body and mind helped sometimes. Finally a few weeks in I had to make the call, see my doctor, and start taking anti-nausea medication.
Generally, I try to stay away from pills the best I can because I like to think I have a high pain tolerance and “things will pass”. I had to give in this time and take something because I literally could not function or go to work. I admit that although I do feel a bit guilty for taking something (I wanted to have a completely natural pregnancy) I now know that it was actually a smart decision. I took the smallest dosage possible; the nausea didn’t completely subside, but it became manageable enough to slowly go on with my day.
Then the topic of food came along and the stress that because I felt sick and couldn’t really eat too much, I wasn’t getting all my vitamins and nutrients in. Let’s also keep in mind that my relationship with food isn’t the best. I’m not a big eater, and I’m fairly picky. I’m one of those people that would literally “prefer not to eat if they didn’t have to”. I know that doesn’t sound healthy, but it’s the reality and I don’t feel like I need to hide that. Being pregnant for the first time, I really didn’t know that the golden rule in this stage is “don’t force yourself”. Well, I forced myself on a few things, thinking it might actually help me. I don’t think it did, and now I cannot take the look, smell, or thought of a few items (which I’m still not ready to talk about…) So ladies, don’t force yourself, eat whatever works and don’t worry about it too much in the beginning. Baby is getting his/her vitamins through your prenatal vitamins and your body in general.
So now the main topic of discussion here: P R E N A T A L V I T A M I N S
Along with this stress of “not getting enough nutrients”, came the priority of prenatal vitamins. I did research above research on this topic even before I became pregnant and thought I had it all figured out. Well, I did – to a point. I had a plan. The plan was to start with the vitamin that had the most and was the best rated (over the longest time period). I found this one to be Materna. So, because I got pregnant a bit quicker than expected (not that it was a surprise, I just didn’t think it would happen THAT quickly), I didn’t have time to try out Materna before actually HAVING to take it. We found out I was pregnant in the morning, and I attempted to take my first materna that night. I broke it in half, because I can’t for the life of me swallow pills bigger than an allergy pill. I thought that would be good enough and I could do it. *positive mindset*. BIG MISTAKE. It got stuck in my throat, running to the bathroom I wasn’t sure if I was going to throw up or stop breathing. Neither happened (probably because of my fear) and I stood there for a good 10 minutes in shock; sweating and panting. Not understanding how I was still breathing with this thing lodged in my throat. I had hot tea handy and crackers so I started dropping crackers into the tea and once they soaked in the tea I started eating them to help push down the pill. THIRTY minutes later I had calmed down enough to tell my husband I will never put that thing, or any other hard pill in my mouth again. My husband was already taking in his newfound happiness of becoming a “father to be” to argue with me and just offered to go to the nearest pharmacy to get me something else. We left it at that for the night and decided we’d go the next day. I was desperate just to get in to bed and forget what had just happened.
The next prenatal vitamin on my list was the Jamieson Chewables. Chewing is fine, what could go wrong with this one? WELL, these upset my stomach to an extent I couldn’t live with anymore. The taste was bearable; like an apple cranberry mix that’s slightly sour. I maybe could have tried taking half of these instead of a whole, but instead my doctor and I decided to set aside the vitamins and give my body a rest for a minute. Keep in mind I was eating strawberries and crackers at this point – nothing else tasted or smelt even decently okay to have in my vicinity. I had lost weight, and feeling like a bad mother already. My doctor suggested I just try to focus on eating more healthy options and that we would revisit the vitamin topic at our next visit.
FINALLY, once the nausea ceased, I went for a third prenatal vitamin option – Nature’s Bounty Prenatal Gummies. I figured dummies were my last and best option, and so I researched and researched and finally found one I thought I could settle on. I’ve now been taking these for about 2 months; 3 gummies right before bed, and it’s looking good. First of all, they are delicious! For me they taste like some type of tropical drink I would order on a vacation in Mexico (while lounging by the pool). The fact that they are chewable gummies makes my life SO much easier and better. Some days I pop three in my mouth at a time, and some days it’s a one by one process. No matter what though, they are the answer to my prenatal vitamin adventure.
I decided to share this story because I think it’s so important to share with other mama-to-be’s these “adventures”. Although we all go through things differently, and have different tolerances, I think it’s great to read other people’s stories. Especially for first time pregnancy’s when everything is so new and you really don’t know what to expect.
I’m curious to know, what kind of experience did you have with your prenatal vitamins? Which ones worked best for you?